President can resign office, yet stay on board

 
Posted12/25/2021 7:00 AM

Q: The president of the board of directors of our condominium has mentioned she may resign as president because of the increasing demands of her regular, full-time job. Can she resign as president and remain on the board, or must she resign from the board as well?

A: An officer of the board, including the president, secretary or treasurer, can resign their officer position and remain as a member of the board. The board would need to vote at a board meeting to elect a person to fill the vacated officer position.

 

Q: The declaration for our association prohibits dogs in any unit or the common area. Many residents receive visits from friends who have dogs. The owners have been advised by the association that this is a violation of the declaration. Can the declaration be amended to allow guests to bring dogs to the property on a short-term basis?

A: From a legal perspective, such an amendment may pass judicial scrutiny in Illinois. However, I question the rationale of giving guests of the owners' greater rights than owners with respect to any restriction included in the declaration.

Q: The property manager for our condominium was planning to walk the property with the board president and the association's landscaping contractor to discuss plans for landscaping work that would be performed next year by the association's landscaping contractor. I am a member of our three-person board. I was told I could not go with them because if we had more board members on the walk-through it would constitute a board meeting. Is that correct?

A: A meeting of the board means any gathering of a quorum of the members of the board for the purpose of conducting board business. Presumably, two of the three board members would constitute a quorum. I think it is questionable whether this walk-through would be considered a board meeting.

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However, under the Condominium Property Act, the board may meet separately from a noticed meeting to discuss the appointment, employment, engagement or dismissal of an employee, independent contractor, agent or other provider of goods and services. This walk-through with a landscaping contractor about engagement for future work arguably falls under the umbrella of this exception to open board meetings.

Q: The daughter of a board member for our condominium is an employee for the association's management company. The daughter of the board member supervises managers for the management company, and has a role in assigning the managers to our association. We have had multiple managers assigned to our association in a year. Is this some sort of a conflict of interest?

A: The daughter of the board member wouldn't have a conflict of interest because she is not a board member. The board member would not have a conflict of interest because there is no contract between the association and the board member or with a corporation or partnership in which a board member or a member of the board member's immediate family has 25% or more interest. The issue here is more about perception and optics, than conflict of interest.

Q: I am an owner in a condominium, and I filed a lawsuit against the association. The suit is being defended by the association's insurance carrier. However, the board adopted a special assessment to pay the $10,000 deductible portion of the insurance policy. Can the association use my assessments to pay their attorney fees?

A: The short answer is "yes." As an owner in the association, you are responsible for your proportionate share of the assessments. This would include assessments to pay the association's attorney's fees to defend your lawsuit against the association.

• David M. Bendoff is an attorney with Kovitz Shifrin Nesbit in the Chicago suburbs. Send questions for the column to him at CondoTalk@ksnlaw.com. The firm provides legal service to condominium, townhouse, homeowner associations and housing cooperatives. This column is not a substitute for consultation with legal counsel.

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